India’s Prabhat Koli has scripted history as he became the youngest athlete in the world to accomplish the achievement of completing the Oceans Seven challenge. Amid challenging weather conditions, the Mumbai-based 23-year-old swimmer swam across the Cook Strait in New Zealand, clocking 8 hours and 41 minutes on the 28km stretch. He was later acknowledged by the World Open Waters Swimming Association and the Marathon Swimmers Federation.
The Oceans Seven is a highly testing challenge. It includes the English Channel (between England and France), the North Channel (between Ireland and Scotland), the Straits of Gibraltar (between Spain and Morocco), the Catalina Channel (between Santa Catalina Island and California), the Molokai Channel (between Molokai and Oahu in Hawaii), the Tsugaru Strait (between Honshu and Hokkaido in Japan), and finally the Cook Strait (between the north and south islands of New Zealand).
Only a handful of swimmers have managed to complete the seven swims. After his feat, Koli said, “It was the best moment in my swimming career spanning over 15 years to embrace the ultimate challenge of Oceans Seven which has been a dream for many professional swimmers across the globe.”
“I can feel the magnitude of happiness by completing the task. My years of training under different circumstances have paid off finally,” he added. He also stated that the last leg of the Cook Strait was testing due to challenging weather conditions.
Koli is a prolific swimmer of India and has received the nation’s highest honor in the field of adventure- the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.